In May 2004, I bought a derelict cottage on a north facing slope of three acres of wet, rushy land.
My aim was to create a self-sustaining smallholding designed and constructed on Permaculture Principles.
This has included planting over 750 deciduous trees including a large orchard, as well as many perennials and bushes that all support the developing biodiversity here at Bealtaine, (named after the month when I first saw the cottage).
I grow a substantial food surplus and this is channelled into the making of wines, jams, pickles, chutneys, dried foods and plants for sale.
I believe that this approach to living on this Earth forms the basis of an integrated approach to living with the planet rather than on the planet.
I love to spin, and in this part of the world I spin wool, using the surplus ‘shoddy,’ as a fertilizer and mulch for the land.
Crafting is an ongoing learning curve for me.
Workshops and Garden Visits are in continual demand and I do my best to accommodate the growing interest in Permaculture design and sustainable living.
The addition of a wood burning stove has given free hot water and central heating from a fire fuelled with wood harvested here.
The cottage did not have a kitchen sink, so one was fitted under this window…why not have a good view when washing up?
Bealtaine Cottage now sits snugly amidst the hundreds of trees planted during the past eight years.
All construction carried out at Bealtaine is worked in wood, a sustainable building material, such as the addition of the porch, above.
To encourage maximum biodiversity, vegetables, fruit, flowers, trees and shrubs are grown together, such as here in the home-made tunnel.
Abundance at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture, Ireland.
I upload a regular blog from Bealtaine…as a way of promoting the permaculture message and encouraging others towards a better way of life.
As a way of draining the land, but harvesting the water, two ponds were constructed in 2005 and 2007.
These now form the central area of the Bog Garden, where I grow an abundance of willow, used in basketry and garden projects, as well as burning in the stove that heats the water and radiators in the cottage.
Everything grown at Bealtaine forms the basis of a quality of living that includes visual appreciation of the gardens, shown here in an indoor arrangement.
You can see and read about everything that has happened here at Bealtaine Cottage by visiting the archives and Bealtaine Cottage on YouTube.
All photos are taken here at Bealtaine Smallholding excepting days out or walks, but then this is stated…enjoy your visits to Bealtaine and you might even leave a message!
P.S This was Bealtaine Cottage in 2004…before the permaculture design was applied…yes, it was rather stark and forbidding!
This is where the orchard and vegetable garden is now.
No chemicals of any kind have been used.
All weeds were controlled with mulching.
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
There are over 500 blogs in the archives on this site.
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